Chateau Marie Studios is tucked away off Highland Ave., not far from Sunset. It's built out of an old, second story flat and its vibe is instantly comfortable and familiar, the kind of hip Hollywood pad your cool aunt might have let you borrow when she was out of town (just with more vintage and state-of-the-art recording equipment installed). The R&B duo known as The Internet -- aka Sydney "Syd tha Kyd" Bennett and Matt "Martians" Martin -- spend a great deal of time here but so does their expanded clique and every 15 minutes or so, someone new comes through the door, whether an engineer or one of Martin's childhood friends from Atlanta. It's like a sitcom apartment just without a laugh track and a lot less white.
The studio takes its name from the late R&B star Teena Marie. Much of the older equipment once belonged to her and the singer's daughter, Alia, is Syd's friend and co-owner of the space. Syd used to have a home studio but explains, "I needed a place where I could invite strangers, and I couldn't invite strangers to my house. Alia wanted me to build her a studio out of her mom's equipment so we started looking for a place together, and that's how we ended up with this place." Artwork that belonged to Marie -- alongside gold and platinum record plaques -- adorns the walls and while you wouldn't call the space a shrine, Marie's legacy exerts there's a respectful, almost reverential vibe. It's good karma at the very least.